Progressive Coalition Calls for Bold Action to Empower Workers

“New Social Contract for Workers” Outlines Comprehensive Policy Agenda to Address Crisis of Economic, Racial Inequality

Check out our partner NELP Action’s new 2020 workers’ agenda, The New Social Contract for Workers, that it’s releasing with a broad coalition of progressive organizations:

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NELP Action and a coalition of grassroots and worker rights organizations has released a new national report, The New Social Contract for Workers, calling on elected leaders to embrace a slate of new public policies to promote workplace democracy and human rights for America’s workers.

The coalition backing the report includes the National Employment Law Project Action Fund, the National Economic & Social Rights Initiative, the Rights & Democracy Institute, the People’s Action Institute, Jobs With Justice, the Center For Popular Democracy, and Caring Across Generations.

Despite a decade of economic growth, most U.S. workers are living paycheck to paycheck. Nearly half of Black and brown workers struggle on less than $15 an hour, while more than half of low-wage workers routinely suffer wage theft or other legal violations. The New Social Contract for Workers calls for re-envisioning our system of labor protections to empower workers and address the extreme racial inequality that characterizes our jobs and workplaces.

The report identifies five bold reforms that the groups argue can provide the foundation for a new social contract for workers:  (1) reforming our labor law system to allow “sectoral bargaining” across industries and up supply chains; (2) adopting “just cause” employment to protect workers from arbitrary and abrupt job loss; (3) creating a right to a decent job with a “federal job guarantee;” (4) promoting worker cooperatives to democratize our economy; and (5) new universal guarantees to basic needs such as Medicare for All and Universal Family Care.

In addition to calling for these five transformational policies, the worker groups are urging action on a broader agenda of other badly needed labor reforms. The report catalogs reforms across thirteen key areas of worker policy ranging from defending immigrant workers from attacks, to protections for online platform workers, to new worker data privacy and algorithmic accountability standards.

The New Social Contract for Workers will be promoted in a series of events across the country as part of The New Social Contract Tour, which kicks off with a Manchester, New Hampshire town hall on Sunday, September 15th.

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